Altamonte Springs reverses policy on medical marijuana

It's an about face in Altamonte Springs on medical marijuana. Tuesday night, city leaders took a vote that represents a victory for business owners and their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech.

City leaders in December voted to ban 27 words which they did not want to see in the names of any medical marijuana businesses which might open their doors in the future, if medical marijuana is legalized in our state.

Altamonte Springs City Commissioners reversed themselves Tuesday night on medical marijuana.  They voted unanimously to undo their ban on the 27 pot related words.

Altamonte Springs City Manager Frank Martz says city leaders adopted the ordinance in December, thinking the banned words might be misleading for the public. He adds, "In the weeks after that, we had some concerns raised that we may have gone too far in infringing on the freedom of speech."

After Tuesday night's vote reversing the ban, words like marijuana, dope, ganja, Mary Jane and wacky tabacky could appear on signs if medical marijuana businesses open in Altamonte.

So far no one has approached city leaders about setting up shop there.

Martz adds, "We suspect that over time there may be people who come in and want to locate here, and they'll have to follow the ordinance."

The rules on words in titles for medical marijuana businesses were part of a larger ordinance with rules for pot facilities.  It covers things like hours of operation and locations.  City leaders did not change that part of the ordinance when they voted Tuesday night.